The mid-week slump seems to have hit the transfer window, with only a handful of new rumours to delve into. But fear not, the Balls Bullshit-O-Meter continues unabated.
(A reminder that, as always, the Balls Bullshit-O-Meter measures the validity of a transfer rumour with its scientifically approved formula of measuring the smell of the bullshit emanating from the morning reports. A "1" is a fresh meadow, with a "10" setting off nuclear toxicity alarms throughout the land.)
Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United to Chelsea)
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) June 11, 2019
Bet you weren't expecting a managerial transfer! That's right, the infamous 'Interim' manager that led Chelsea to Europa League glory in 2013 could be set for a return to West London. Maurizio Sarri looks set to join Juventus, and according to Tuttosport, Roman Abramovich wants a successor in place before the Italian leaves the club.
Tuttosport are reporting that Benitez has had talks with the Chelsea hierarchy about a return. The Spanish manager's current situation at Newcastle United is up in the air, with uncertainty at boardroom level filtering down to the first team. However, despite European success, Benitez was hated amongst Chelsea fans due his ties to Liverpool. Should Sarri leave the Blues, the fans want Frank Lampard.
Bullshit-o-meter: 7/10 - interim wafts of stank
Dejan Lovren (Liverpool to AC Milan)
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) June 12, 2019
Ah, Dejan Lovren. It may come as a shock to you, but Liverpool seem keen to rid themselves of 'one of the best defenders in the world'. According to Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio, the Croatian international is Milan's main target in order to shore up their defence.
In the last year, Lovren has subsequently become Liverpool's fourth choice centre-half. In 2018/19, he made just 18 appearances in all competitions.
Bullshit-o-meter: 3/10 - smells like common sense
Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma to Arsenal)
Arsenal & Tottenham have both made proposals to sign AS Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini, who has a €30m release clause, which can be paid in two installments of €15m, but Roma are working on renewing the Italian’s contract to remove the clause. [@NicoSchira] #afc pic.twitter.com/9x4g5jW3vE
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) June 11, 2019
Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini could be on the move, with both Arsenal and Tottenham alerted to the Italian's situation. A week ago, it seemed likely that he was going to sign a contract extension with Roma. However, that has changed, and per Calcio Mercato, the player's agent is in London seeking a move.
The player's release clause is £27 million, and is payable through two installments. The ability to pay in instalments could subsequently play into Arsenal's hands, with their transfer kitty for the summer set at just £50 million. Plus, the Italian could be the perfect replacement for Aaron Ramsey.
Bullshit-o-meter: 4/10 - subtle aroma
Pablo Fornals (Villarreal to West Ham United)
— Transferchanger (@TransferChanger) June 11, 2019
MARCA have reported that West Ham are set to sign Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals. The Hammers rekindled their interest in the Spain international, having tried to sign him in January. Villarreal were reluctant to sell as they fought against relegation. However, they are now set to overhaul their squad, and Fornals looks set to be one of the first pieces to go.
Having targeted Celta Vigo midfielder Stanislav Lobotka earlier in the window, West Ham have returned to Fornals. The Londoners are not expected to reach Fornals' release clause of €33 million, however, a fee of €27 million has been agreed between the clubs.
Bullshit-o-meter: 2/10 - SMELLS LIKE PRETTY BUBBLES IN THE AIR
Max Aarons (Norwich City to Crystal Palace)
If Crystal Palace sell Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United, Norwich City right-back Max Aarons is their number one target as a replacement. 🎯
However, United are also interested in the 19-year-old... https://t.co/hzN4GFsOT9
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 11, 2019
A circumstantial transfer rumour if ever there was one. Norwich City right-back Max Aarons is a target for Crystal Palace, but will only be pursued should Manchester United meet the Eagles £60 million valuation for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The interest, according to Sky Sports, is also shared by Manchester United. The Red Devils could turn to the Norwich defender should they fail to sign Wan-Bissaka.
The Championship's Young Player of the Year last season, Aarons would command a fraction of Wan-Bissaka's £60 million fee.
Bullshit-o-meter: 7/10 - too many smelly moving parts